Saturday, August 30, 2014

10 mistakes Writers Make that Generates a Rejection Letter

10 Mistakes Writers Make That Generates a Rejection Letter.

1)      Failure to have it professionally edited: Agents and publishers aren’t going to waste their time with a manuscript that has misspelled words, or improper spacing, run-on sentences etc. Want to be taken seriously? Then have the manuscript PROFESSIONALLY edited before submitting.
2)      Speechifying: Lack of contractions, soapbox oratory, bombastic self-serving dialogue.
3)      Talking heads: Conversational dialogue where there is no action. People gesture when they speak, have facial expressions, respond to outside noises (dog barking, train whistle) touch surrounding objects etc.
4)      Telling not showing: Don’t just write it was a dark and stormy night, describe it. Make us feel that we are in that place.
5)      Stagnant pacing: Suspense requires scene building detail, concise description utilizing all five senses. (What they see, hear, feel, smell and taste.) Action require sharp, to the point pacing with no unnecessary detail.
6)      Timeline errors: You can’t have Bob go out to get Tuesday’s newspaper then announce when he comes home that he wants to watch Monday Night football that evening. Or switching between past, present and future without a clear and self-explanatory jump-cut.
7)      Inconsistent dialogue: Once you establish your character he/she must be consistent in his or hers conduct and speech patterns. You can’t have a British nobleman suddenly start wise cracking or using southern colloquialisms.
8)      Exposition: You shouldn’t stop your story to explain to your reader what led up to their present circumstances, weave it into the story.
9)      Magic solution: You should NEVER use a solution to a problem that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere else in the story. For example: Jane is about to be murdered by crazed assailant then suddenly remembers she has a gun in her purse. If this fact hasn’t been address earlier you shouldn’t use it. EVER!
10)   There is no “Secret” The secret is what keeps the reader reading. Who is the mysterious stranger who calls Jane every night at 2 am.? Who is that boy in the picture she keeps in a locket around her neck? What is Ben using to blackmail Kyle?  Remember it’s very easy to put a book down. Make it difficult for your reader to do.

There is a lot more to mention. In fact there is an entire book filled with everything you need to know to get your book published. It’s called The Best Book on How to Write, Publish and Market your Novel into a Best Seller and you can get it if you CLICK HERE

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Monday, August 11, 2014

The 5 Best Sing-Along Songs

The 5 Best Sing-Along Songs

Everybody has songs they like to sing-along with. Doesn’t matter what style, or year or genre, we just like them and the minute we hear them playing we burst into song regardless of our lack of talent.

So I’ve compiled 5 of my favorites and create a countdown from number 5 down to my most favorite sing-along. It’s funny how they are all in different styles, from different decades and from both well-known and obscure bands.

And as always feel free to sing-along

Now wasn’t that fun? I first heard that song on some obscure indie radio station and immediately downloaded it into my ipod when I got home.

As instructed, I left the theater singing! Couldn’t quite help it, it was such a catchy tune

When my brother saw this band in concert, he said the entire audience in Madison Square Garden was on their feet and singing along!

Every so often my wife would walk in on me while I was singing and dancing to this song. Instead of making me feel like an idiot, she would start singing and dancing along with me.

I only discovered this song a month or so ago. Damn near impossible to keep from getting up and singing and dancing along.

Remember hatin’ is bad :)

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Writing Tips #1

Writing Tips #1

Writers are imaginative people. We create people, places and things and manipulate them to form a story. Whether it is a romance, an action thriller, a mystery or an alternate reality, our job is to keep our readers engaged and wanting more.

But as imaginative people we have one serious Achilles heel. We incorrectly think that because we are able to imagine various people, places and things with the scantiest description, other can too.

No they can’t. If they could they’d be writers too.

I moderate a writers group and I’ve discovered that many of those I instruct create very sparse descriptions which can make it very difficult to get into the story and over time will cost you your audience.

In Stephen King’s and Peter Straub’s The Talisman, they form a very descriptive picture of an alternate reality called The Territories. What they describe in detail is a place similar to a seventeenth century America but with enough differences to keep you glued to the page. King does it again in his Dark Tower series. He’s creates a place where “Time has moved on” and describes that place in such detail you can almost feel the relentless heat of the sun.

Among the top 5 best-selling books of all time is the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling’s mastery of engaging description created a place so real in the reader’s imagination, that nary a person who ever read a Harry Potter book didn’t wish he or she could have spent just a little time at Hogwarts.

The problem here is mixed signals. Some books on writing tell you to leave it to the reader’s imagination. Others says it’s important to describe every single detail. The thing is they’re both right. It is the difference between Kurt Vonnegut who rarely described people places and things and Tom Wolfe who provided description to the minutest detail.

But the thing is both writer played to their strengths and never attempted to write in a completely different style. Vonnegut’s books were quirky, funny and made you think. Wolfe’s work was very straight forward and therefore it was important that he put you right in the middle of the action.

Here’s how to tell how much description is necessary. If you are creating a novel about people place and things that your reader has not been to, or experienced, then detailed description is required. Madagascar, Siberia, Tatooine or Hogwarts’ you’ve got to put them there.

One rule of thumb is the more a person place or thing is featured in your story the more description is required. If two spies are meeting in a New York restaurant, the waiter won’t need much description, nor will the cab driver, nor will the restaurant itself if all it provides is a setting.

Your main characters, the place where all the action is taking place and the devices used throughout should be clearly and accurately described.

For example if you’re writing an updated Batman story, Gotham, the Batcave and the Batmobile must be clearly described.

On the other hand, if you’re writing an action adventure novel that takes place in Manhattan you’re not going to need much description because Manhattan has been featured in thousands of movies and books so unless you can add something new, briefly describe the people and traffic and move on.

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